Brand New

By Green River Preserve

“What are we doing next?!” is the question of the day here at GRP. On the bus back from morning Mentor hikes, in the middle of lunch, during Activities, and before Free Time one can hear this refrain, laden with excitement and a tiny bit of apprehension, coming from any number of campers. The great majority of our campers are brand new to camp and they are so enthusiastic to be here.

During Canoeing this afternoon, only one camper in the first block had ever been in a canoe before. After donning PFDs, learning the parts of the canoe and the paddle, and practicing strokes from the safety of the canoe dock, she and the other campers gamely picked partners and entered boats. They paddled around the lake, trying out the draw and the pry, and doing their best to avoid various obstacles including tree branches extending over the water from the East and fly fishers casting their lines from the West. After a few near-misses with the tree branches, Evan from Hemlock Hut 2 exited his boat, ran across the grass, and declared, “That was awesome!” This joy, born in the newness of the camp experience, is something we are witnessing not just in Canoeing, but all over Base Camp.

This joy will continue to build and unfold over the next four days as your children encounter new challenges and opportunities for exploration within this safe environment. It is exciting and uplifting to see brand new campers moving past the anxieties of being away from home for the first time, navigating new landscapes and new friendships, and trying out Activities they have never done before. There is something wonderful about these new campers being here toward the end of the summer, their energy infusing the Preserve with new life.

Trailing Cedars 1, the oldest girls’ cabin this session, held their nightly Rose, Bud, Thorn debrief of the day on the Front Field after the whole camp finished an intense game of Predator Prey. In summing up her day, Tory said, “My Thorn was that I rolled my ankle a little bit on my hike today, but my Rose was everything else. And my Bud is that I can’t wait to do it all again tomorrow!” I would venture to guess that Bud goes for all of us here on the Preserve. We cannot wait to see what this last session of the summer will bring, and we feel fortunate that your children are here making these days some of our best. Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to make these days some of their best, as well.

- Holly, Trailing Cedars Mentor